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Book Review · The Lesbian Review

Don’t Circle Or by Kellan McKnight

Don’t Circle Or by Kellan McKnight is a beautiful and emotional second-chance romance set in fictional Dagger Creek.

Morgan Trimble and Drew Hunter-Davidson once shared a passionate connection that was shattered fifteen years ago by a life-altering event. Their hopes and dreams of a future crumbled and sent shockwaves through the Trimble family.

Morgan who was once destined for a bright future, currently finds herself trapped in a cycle of self-destruction and guilt. Drew, also, struggles with a massive amount of guilt while trapped in a loveless marriage, only existing for her son.

When Morgan courageously decides to change her life and come home, everything hangs in the balance. Will old flames still burn after all this time? Can Drew summon her inner strength to break the chains of her marriage and pursue her true desires? Will Morgan make amends and free herself from crippling guilt?

The first installment of the Trimble Triplets Trilogy explores the power of healing and the hope for a future where love can conquer all. Through a heartfelt telling of past and present events, they hope to heal wounds and bring love back to its full circle.


Kellan McKnight’s storytelling ability far surpasses even my high expectations. Don’t Circle Or is a dramatic second-chance romance that tore my heart to shreds and then put it back together before I even realized it. The first scene, a scene from the past that sets up the trajectory for the rest of the book, pulled me in, squeezed me so tight, and left me breathless. Needless to say, after reading those pages, I was hooked. McKnight uses a dual timeline most impressively, as all of the events of the past connect with the present. And as the story grows deeper, so do the connections between the past and present.

McKnight uses symbolism in a way that I had to stop multiple times to reread because I was in awe of the connections I was being led to make. She also uses figurative language that enhances the impact of emotions conveyed through the narrative. The dialogue flows naturally, is believable, and is real.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

First, I’d like to gush over Don’t Circle Or’s gorgeous cover, which I immediately fell in love with. It wasn’t until I learned about the characters and their circumstances, and invested in their lives that I fully grasped the importance of each detail on the cover. Symbolism for the win!

Don’t Circle Or deals with emotional topics that could make the story dark, but McKnight uses slices of humor to break up the heaviness. I appreciated these little quips and bits of sarcasm sprinkled throughout.

Morgan Trimble’s bright future was snuffed out when circumstances beyond her control caused a series of unfortunate events. She’s been in a pit of despair for years, losing everyone and everything. Fortunately, Morgan made the difficult decision not only to get clean but to stay clean. With the help of her estranged twin, Morgan moves back to her hometown after years of being away. Morgan’s addiction is handled delicately and with a lot of detail, showing how well the authors understand the ins and outs of addiction. Morgan’s strength and courage are apparent through her actions as she tries to do better to prove to her family that she wants to stay sober.

Drew Hunter-Davidson’s life has been about doing what’s expected of her so as not to cause waves. Her overbearing and abusive parents made her teenage years extremely difficult for her, and to keep up appearances, she had to date a boy she had zero interest in. My heart broke for her each time she recounted events and how badly she didn’t want to do things with him. Despite her circumstances, she is an excellent mother and businesswoman, running a wonderful little cafe in Dagger Creek.

The chemistry between Drew and Morgan carried from their past to their present so well that it was palpable. When they bickered during their teen years, it was simmering underneath. When they finally acknowledge their feelings during their senior year, yup, chemistry right there. Then, when they’re reunited and Morgan returns to town, it’s still there, as bright and sizzling as ever. It’s this connection that allowed me to fully believe that you could meet your soul mate as a teen, and no circumstance could sever that connection. The love they have for one another, despite time apart, has never wavered. That is true love!

Morgan’s relationship with her sisters and parents will take time to repair. She’s made the first step in returning to Dagger Creek, and while she’s afraid to face them, she knows that it’s an imperative part of healing. She’s fortunate that their love for her knows no bounds, and their acceptance back home helps her maintain her sobriety.  Drew’s family, on the other hand, is a different story. Her domineering father’s controlling ways which impacted her childhood, extended into adulthood. The trauma she experienced at his hands extends way beyond just the physical. The Trimble family accepted her as one of their own when she first arrived on the scene when she and the twins were in middle school, and she (and her incredible son, Reilly) are still a part of their family today.

Heads Up

Religious oppression, child abuse, sexual coercion, addiction, mental health issues,

The Conclusion

Book Review · The Lesbian Review Jennas Favourite BooksDon’t Circle Or is a story that resonated so deeply with me. It’s a story about honesty, forgiveness, redemption, and, at its core, hope. It’s heartbreakingly real, yet also heartwarming at the same time. The story shows that the choices you make can change the course of others’ lives forever because your choices affect more than just you. This is a story about growing, learning, communicating, and atoning. It’s about being honest and leaning into vulnerability so that you can live fully and completely. I was captivated from the first page, and I’m hanging on the edge of my seat awaiting the arrival of book two!

Excerpt from Don’t Circle Or by Kellan McKnight

Just then, she heard the screen door shut again. She looked down at the ground, steeling herself, before gazing up at the porch to see Drew standing there. The sun was setting, and the waning rays formed a fiery halo around her like some sort of biblical avenging angel.

“Reilly, let them get into the house first, my guy,” she said, as the twins walked toward the porch.

They climbed the stairs, and Morgan laid eyes on the woman who she once thought she would grow old with for the first time in almost fifteen years. Drew didn’t look much different. Her hair was shorter and more of an auburn tone now, but still bounded around her head in ringlets. Her blue eyes were bright, almost shining in the sinking sun. She was even more beautiful than when Morgan knew her all those years ago.

“Hey,” Morgan said simply, extending her hand like she had done to her son just moments before. Just then, the pizza delivery guy pulled into the driveway and honked.

“Reilly, help Melora get everything out of the car and get the pizza for us, please,” she said. He gave her a thumbs-up in reply and offered to race Melora back down to the car. As soon as he said go and they took off down the yard, Drew opened the door and dragged Morgan inside. She hadn’t gotten completely over the threshold when Drew threw her arms around her and pulled her in for a tight embrace. Morgan was completely thrown off guard, but it just felt so right, like it was high school all over again. She sank into her arms.

“I’m so glad you’re okay. I have been so worried about you,” Drew said. Morgan could hear the emotion in her voice. Her own eyes welled up at the sentiment, and she squeezed even harder.

“Let’s talk soon?” she said, pulling back and holding her at arm’s length.

Morgan had been robbed of her voice and could only nod as Drew backed away, hearing Reilly and Melora coming up the stairs.

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Series: The Trimble Triplets

Don’t Circle Or

Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 979-8879512342

Publisher: Indie Author

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Note: I received a free review copy of Don’t Circle Or by Kellan McKnight No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

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